(Copyright 2000, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Seventeen – Organizational Empowerment & Love
Welcome back to Organizational Aerodynamics, everyone! This is the course that visualizes new perspectives to help us fulfill our hopes and dreams ~ taking our lives, families, organizations and/or businesses to new levels! Today’s course focuses on Organizational Empowerment & Love, as a way of looking at the process of emptying ourselves of self and letting love in to fill the space vacated by self – ultimately empowering us to love others totally, completely and unconditionally. For it is in loving and caring for others that we experience love ourselves, and by loving unconditionally, we are then able to become the people we were always meant to be.
First let’s examine this nature of self and why it’s so important to empty ourselves of self in order to be able to love others unconditionally. Imagine for a moment a cardboard cutout, say of a movie star being used to promote a newly released film. The cutout has a life-size image of the actor on it and the only thing missing is the real thing. Now take a look at of your own perception of yourself. This perception of yourself is what you stand behind, like the cardboard cutout, as you present yourself to others. In fact, you could very possibly have more than one perception of yourself for every person and situation you come across – an endless array of carefully tailored perceptions, or cutouts of yourself depending on the situation, person or audience you’re presenting yourself to.
For example, at work you may have this self-image of yourself as a hard-working professional, at home you’re a loving spouse and to your child you’re a doting parent. To your own parents you have a self-image tailored especially for them, to the check-out clerk at the grocery store another, your college friends another, your spouse’s parents yet another, and to the online world as many different personas as the different websites you frequent. In fact, you may find yourself using a unique self-image for every relationship and situation you find yourself in – or perhaps, you have a few carefully tailored self-images that you rotate through as needed, on a case-by-case basis.
The concept of self and our self-image then becomes like a building facade, a front to show the world so they like us and perhaps will love us as well. Rarely are people without some sort of filter they use to present themselves to others, because you probably wouldn’t present yourself the same way in your online dating profile, as you might to your young child or to your manager at work. The filter you use would naturally filter out various details as not necessary or too much information and simply present a cardboard cutout version of yourself instead. Of course, there are also those who create totally false perceptions of themselves for various reasons, from fraud to presenting a younger age or weight than they actually are, in order to make them appear to be more presentable to someone else for their own ulterior motives.
What happens when we construct and tailor multiple self-images for public and private consumption, is that we muddy the waters of who we really are to the point of losing our true selves in the process. In fact, many of us may not even know who our true selves are, because we’ve never bothered to explore or inner selves for reasons known only to us. Perhaps we’ve always been too busy, didn’t really care, or were afraid of what we might find at the core of who we are. Perhaps, we simply believe our own press and would rather be known as this persona we’ve created around ourselves rather than be who we really are. Sometimes we feel totally inadequate just as we are and couldn’t cope with others seeing our true personas, needing instead to hide behind this well-crafted image so as to not be discovered or found out.
The complexity of our internal maneuverings to present an image of ourselves to one person, yet another to someone else, and on and on, makes our lives so much more difficult, complicated and stressful than life needs to be. Now imagine for a moment taking all these different self-perceptions and images, all these carefully tailored facades, all these pretenses, deceptions, false images and inflated concepts of ourselves, and just throwing them away. Without these images of yourself to present to others, you’re left with simply being you – at all times, to all people, in all settings and in all situations. It may even feel scary, but when you really examine the implications, it becomes totally liberating and the ultimate example of personal freedom – because you’re not trapped inside yourself – but free to be open and honest with all people at all times.
So as I draw this book called Organizational Aerodynamics to a close, I leave you with the most important concept and perception of all – to just strive to be you, to be yourself, to be unique, to be one of a kind, for you are enough, just as you are! Love yourself, love life, love others and love God – for that’s what we’re all called to do and be – to be love to the world!